Sheriff's Department Raffles Off a Shotgun a Month After Heinous Shotgun Shooting

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Jake West: Ended a Jeff. Co. party with a shotgun blast last month.
We here at Daily RFT were somewhat taken aback yesterday by a press release from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department announcing its plans to raffle off a shotgun for charity.

We're all for good causes, especially Backstoppers (the organization that aids the families of fallen police and firefighters), but should a police agency really be raffling off weapons?

After all, it was just last month that a drunken teen in Jefferson County nearly blew off a girl's leg with a shotgun -- ending an underage party with the question: "Do you want to keep that knee?"

Curious for answers, we called sheriff's department spokesman Captain Ralph Brown.

"This is a hunting gun," says Brown of the 12-gauge Benelli Nova pump-action shotgun with camo coating.

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"It's not a high-powered rifle. We wouldn't be raffling off one of those. I've got one of these same shotguns myself," says Brown. "I use it for turkey hunting. It's great for that. Mine retailed for over $500."

Yeah, but couldn't this gun get in the wrong hands -- like Jake West's -- the teen accused of shooting the girl in the knee?

"Well, he's still in jail," says Brown. "But no, we've been auctioning off shotguns for several years now. It's a big hit. Say, do you want to buy a raffle ticket? One for $5, or three for $10? It's for a very good cause."

Interest in bidding on the gun? Contact Lt. Dolan at jdolan@jeffcomo.

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